“As a human being and as a doctor you embody all that is good. You as well as your staff treated me with the utmost kindness from day one. I have gone from hopeless and helpless to feeling that anything is possible in just a few short weeks thanks to your participation in the HCN program." – Patient



Serving the health care needs of Racine County
Board of Directors:
Dave Perkins . . . . . . . . . . . . . President
Mark Lewno PharmD . . . . . . Vice President
Shelley Kutis . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Thomas Durkin . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Della Alvarez
Samantha Anderegg-
Shannon Chadwell
Kerry Frank
Darian Griffin
Jerry Hardacre II MD
Elizabeth Hoff
Mary Ouimet
Ahmad Qawi
Brian Waldau DMD
Debbie Weyers
Message from Executive Director:

The amazing thing about the Health Care Network is that we have shown how an entire community can make a difference in people’s lives every day.  In 1987 when the Health Care Network incorporated there were an estimated 32 million uninsured Americans.  In 2013, the number stood at 48 million.  As of 2014, the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act were enacted.  With a slow start to the roll out on the federal level and the State taking a conservative approach to Medicaid, it is expected that it will be at least a year before the effects of these changes will clearly be known. Meanwhile, over 350 Racine County medical and dental professionals quietly volunteer their time to provide care to thousands of our low-income, uninsured neighbors.  Their efforts, combined with the financial support of numerous businesses, service organizations, churches, foundations, and individuals, has created a critical safety net in our community resulting in improved community health and a decreased reliance on emergency room care.  As our logo demonstrates, we are individuals united for our community’s health.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead


In 1982, a taskforce on unemployment was formed in response to a 22% unemployment rate in Racine County.  Health care needs identified as a high priority.  “The Caring Plan” developed individual arrangements between MD and patient.  As more jobs lost, plan became inadequate.  Racine 2000 met for a day long conference at the Sienna Center.  Access to health care for the uninsured identified as a high priority.  20 people join a task force led by Brenda Walsh OP.  A Green Bay clinic is visited.  Goal is to develop a Community Clinic in Racine.  Local physicians express a preference for serving the uninsured within their own offices.

Jan. - Sept. 1987                 

Group incorporated as Racine County Community Clinic, Inc.  Project name - Racine County Health Care Network.  Providers recruited, referral mechanism developed.  Site selection in progress.  St. Mary’s Health Care Foundation makes a $150,000 grant over a 5 year period.

Sept. 1987

Basement office space donated by First Presbyterian Church.  St. Luke’s Trustees make a significant financial commitment.

Oct. 1987

First part-time director hired - Rea Katz.

Nov. 1987

Racine County Community Clinic, Inc. officially opens.  Office hours are Tuesday & Thursday from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm.


Part-time program assistant hired.  In January, 44 physicians registered with program.  Pharmaceutical, dental discounts, and eye care service added.  Office opened in Burlington two mornings per month.  First issue of ACCESS, agency’s newsletter is published in November.


Barb Tylenda hired for part-time Executive Director position. 1,090 appointments scheduled since inception.


Executive Director position becomes full-time.  First Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) received. Incorporated name changed to Health Care Network, Inc. Governor signs Wisconsin Act 206 - the Volunteer Health Care Provider law initiated by then Rep. Kim Plache.  Network moves to 734 Lake Ave.  Space donated by Elizabeth Allen Steffen, MD.  On-site services initiated.  6 retired MD’s and 7 RN’s start. Total 2,200 appointments scheduled to date.


Request for services doubled.  Program assistant becomes full-time.  Part-time Administrative Assistant hired.  Burlington office closes.  Renquist/Associates, Inc. donates design of new logo and letterhead.  Total of 4,550 appointments scheduled to date.


Agency moves to 904 State Street thanks to a State Grant, a successful Capital Campaign and the volunteer efforts of many contractors and individuals.  Health Care Network, Inc. honored by President Bush as Point of Light.  Agency becomes member of Racine Area United Way.


Hispanic Health Coordinator hired to improve services to Hispanic Community.  Agency mourns death of Elizabeth Allen Steffen, MD and dedicates on-site clinic in her memory.


Health Care Network, Inc. chosen to represent Racine in the All America City Competition sponsored by National Civic League.  Racine selected as a finalist.  Agency doubles space to 3000 sq. ft. with use of CDBG and In-Kind contributions from several construction companies.  Brenda Walsh OP, officially honored as founder of Health Care Network, Inc.


Health Care Network receives Meritorious Service Award in the 1995 Community Preventative Dentistry Competition sponsored by the American Dental Association. Anesthesiologists join the program.  Total of 21,008 appointments scheduled to date.


General Assistance ends in Racine County stretching agency capacity. New staff hired with Racine County Grant.  Now 5 FTE’s.  Health Care Network, Inc. presents its program at National Conference in Dallas on November 4, 1996.  First fundraising event of agency held at home of Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Bergs.


Strategic Planning process develops strategy for the future.  Partnership with Center for Health & Education formed to provide outreach services in Burlington.  Office assistant hired.  Sertoma Club sponsors first annual Tee-It-Up for Health Care Network, Inc.  10 Year Anniversary Celebration entitled “Celebrating the Vision” held 11-22-97.  Over 30,000 appointments provided since inception.


Volunteers of Health Care Network, Inc. receive Group Golden Rule Award for Southeastern Wisconsin from JC Penney.  Emergency Pharmaceutical Fund sponsored by Racine Area United Way is transferred to Health Care Network, Inc.  A partnership forms between Racine Family Practice Center (FPC) and Health Care Network, Inc.  Residents of FPC rotate through the on-site clinics as part of their community health rotation.


Passport to Adventure a fundraiser sponsored by Jean & Jim Mohrhauser is held to raise funds for the new pharmaceutical assistance fund called the Good Samaritan Program.  Executive Director, Barb Tylenda, receives the 1999 Woman of Distinction Award for Public Service from the Racine YWCA.  Decade ends with Health Care Network having provided 45,440 appointments since its inception.


There are now 185 physicians, 43 dentists, 19 pharmacies, and the 3 area hospitals joining together to provide 7,066 appointments this year.  Agency receives the first annual Sustainable Racine Recognition Award in the non profit category.


Agency begins Outcomes Based Management focusing on decreasing use of local emergency rooms for non emergency care and lowering blood pressure and glucose levels among hypertensives and diabetics.  Director Barb Tylenda serves as the State Representative of the Wisconsin Free Clinics who hosts a seven state conference of Free Clinics of the Great Lakes Region.  Best of Broadway event raises $19,101.12, which helps to offset the additional costs inherent with a 26% increase in service requests.


Agency celebrates 15-year anniversary.  Surgeon General David Satcher MD, PhD recognizes the volunteers in a letter during National Volunteer Week.  William Little MD, Volunteer Medical Director quoted in U.S. News & World Report.  Board completes Strategic Plan which establishes five priorities for the next three years: dental care, pharmaceutical assistance, growing Hispanic population, continued (operational) funding, and expansion of existing services to meet the increased volume.  68,181 appointments provided since program inception.


Racine suffers from worst unemployment rate in the State dramatically increasing the request for services from the agency.  Barb Tylenda, Executive Director, is honored to be selected to accept the 2003 All America City Award on behalf of the Greater Racine delegation in Washington DC.  Dr. Tom & Rae Wood host the Islands of Adventure fundraiser which raises $27,320 for the Agency.  At fiscal year-end, 9,228 health care appointments provided, largest to date.


Agency makes commitment to start an on-site dental clinic.  Riley Construction volunteers to supervise remodeling of space at 906 State Street.  Dental community offers widespread support for project.


The onsite Dental clinic opens on April 6, 2005 thanks to the volunteer contribution of many contractors led by Matt Prince of Riley Construction along with generous donors led by the St. Luke’s Trustees Advised Fund with the Racine Community Foundation. In the first quarter of operation a 30% increase in dental services is realized. By year end, 12 dentists, 7 hygienists, and 7 assistants are volunteering their time.

Happy Trails to You…You're Invited to a Western Barbecue is hosted at the home of Bob & Linda Budlow raising a record $32,100.


In partnership with the Racine County Dental Society the Agency hosted Give Kids a Smile Day at the new onsite dental clinic serving 82 children over two days. A new fundraiser Pleasures & Treasures a Silent Auction & Sale for Health Care Network is launched. Planning begins for the agency’s 20th year anniversary in 2007.


Agency celebrates 20 years of service to the community.  Launches Continuing to Care a $1,000,000 endowment campaign.  Volunteers are honored with the 2007 Bravehearts…Heroes Among Us Award from the American Red Cross of S.E. Wisconsin and the Hispanic Business and Professional Association’s Community Enhancement Award.  Barb Tylenda, Executive Director, receives the 2007 Community Outreach Award from the Wisconsin Dental Association.  Ruud Lighting hosts Viva Las Vegas a fundraiser honoring the agency’s 20 year anniversary.


Continuing to Care reaches $1,073,113 in pledges.  Senator Herb Kohl secured a federal grant in the amount of $86,568 for the agency’s dental program allowing us to provide some endodontic and prosthedontic work onsite as well as double our capacity to offer cleanings.  Barb Tylenda, Executive Director, presented a program on Building on Endowment.  At year end nearly 10,000 appointments were provided by the volunteers.


Volunteer Pat Quinn-Benson is named 2009 Health Care Services Volunteer of the Year by the Volunteer Center of Racine County. Wolf Korndoerfer hosts “Escape to Nantucket” to benefit the Network. Despite the expansion of the BadgerCare+ Core Program to include childless adults, a record 10,054 appointments are provided by the volunteers.


Health Care Network in partnership with WFHC-All Saints, Aurora Healthcare, City of Racine Health Dept, and the Jane Cremer Foundation formed the Greater Racine Mammogram Coalition to utilize Susan G Komen funds to increase access to mammograms for Racine County women. Agency receives an Outstanding Service Award from the Racine Interfaith Coalition. Health Care Network mourns the loss of long time volunteer H.L. Ericson MD.


The State BadgerCare+ Core Program comes to a standstill resulting in record numbers being referred to the agency.  Agency reluctantly begins a waiting list.  Assistance with prescriptions rises to a record 6,326.  Merriment & frivolity abounds at the Renaissance themed fundraiser held at the home of Pam Johnson.  $29,430 raised.  Health Care Network mourns the loss of early volunteers Al Hartog, William Madden MD, and Fannie Wynstra RN.


Health Care Network marks its 25th anniversary with a celebration sponsored by the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread. Mayor John Dickert and County Executive James Ladwig designate October 18, 2012 as Health Care Network, Inc. Day in the city and county of Racine. To date 173,511 appointments provided by agency volunteers.

The agency mourns the loss of Howard Gass MD, John Jamieson MD, Goro Tsuchiya MD, early Board member Don Tredwell, and longtime supporter Jim Mohrhauser.


Despite the approaching Affordable Care Act, the need for health care services in Western Racine County grows. On July 10, 2013 in partnership with Aurora Health Care, an on-site clinic is opened on Wednesday mornings at the Western Racine County Health Dept. Three physicians Sandra Billingsley MD, Richard Ellingstad MD, and E. Paul Gander MD launch the effort as volunteer physicians.

A record $36, 095.22 is raised at the Cornerstone Country Fair fundraiser held at the home of Drs. Ric & Debbie Palmer.

The agency mourns the loss of Ernest MacVicar MD, Warren Williamson MD, and long time supporter Peggy Constantine

Health Care Network Inc. • 904 State Street • Racine, WI 53404
(262) 632-2400 • FAX: (262) 632-7988 • Email: info@healthcarenetwork.org

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Last modified: March 22, 2017